Are you and yours thinking about getting out of the area for a destination wedding? Or perhaps you’re from outside the Pacific Northwest and want to venture toward Seattle or one of the beautiful surrounding areas? Elegant Affairs not only travels with clients, but we also welcome clients from out of state to the gorgeous PNW. If this sounds like the right idea for you and your other half, we have a few elements we want you to marinate on during your planning process.
Legality. The process of legalizing your marriage includes obtaining a marriage license, holding a ceremony, and applying for a marriage certificate. Procurement of a marriage license will most likely require different pre-requisites specific to the state in which you wish to hold your ceremony. This is important because your marriage license must be specific to the county you’re getting married in and will be valid in all other counties thereafter. Once your marriage license is complete, you can hold the ceremony and then apply for your marriage certificate. As requirements vary from state to state, we recommend you call the local county office specific to the location you wish to marry and obtain all the legal documents needed for the marriage license before the day of. Generally, provisions will include the following:
- Proof of citizenship such as a passport, driver’s license, or other state issued ID (this is mandatory in every state)
- Health documents obtained from a recent physical examination
- In the case you were married before; proof of divorce, annulment, or death of your late spouse
- In the case you’re under the age of 18; parent consent
- A legal fee (some county offices only accept cash, so keep it on hand just in case)
After your marriage license is attained and you have your wedding ceremony, you can apply for your marriage certificate which acts as evidentiary support of your marriage. In most cases, the officiant applies for you and yours. This document will then need to be dropped off at the local county office after it’s complete.
Guest count. When considering tying the knot out of your area, take into account who and how many guests will be attending your ceremony and reception. This will effect cost and bring to attention any special travel arrangements that will need to be made for friends and family invited. Guest count is also important when choosing the best venue and best lodging options for the area you’re looking at.
Travel. As mentioned briefly above, travel considerations will need to be examined. Be thoughtful toward your guest’s pocket book and aware of what they most likely can or can’t afford. You want to make this process the least stressful possible; it is important that everyone enjoys every step of the way. Give everyone plenty of time to prepare for an out of state wedding. They will also appreciate best options for flights, trains, etc. if you are willing to include this information on your wedding site or skillfully within your save-the-date.
Expense. Getting married out of state can be expensive after adding up the cost of airfare (or otherwise) and lodging. On the other hand, it can actually be cheaper if you go the route of considering a special package that a hotel of your choice offers, specific to destination weddings. This can also be cheaper in the case that fewer guests are willing to travel, therefore decreasing the cost of catering, wedding favors, etc. If you are already aiming for an intimidate ceremony with fewer guests to begin with, the total expense will automatically be cheaper.
Destination weddings are fun to plan and thinking about the above mentioned will make the planning process much easier. We encourage you to please feel free and reach out with inquiries about anything specific you have in mind!